SABMiller logo

News

SABMiller makes recommended offer for all outstanding shares in ABI

22 September 2004

Ref: 23/04

The SABMiller group has today submitted a letter to the ABI board of directors indicating a firm intention to make an offer to acquire the entire issued share capital of ABI not already owned by the SABMiller group. The offer, which is subject to certain conditions, is for 91 Rand per ABI share to be paid in cash, amounting to a total consideration of approximately R 3.8 billion (US$585 million).

The board of directors of ABI, other than those members who are also directors or employees of SABMiller, have recommended that shareholders of ABI vote in favour of the offer, which represents a premium of 32.1 per cent to the closing price on the last trading date immediately prior to the first cautionary statement made on 21 July , 2004.

The proposed transaction is consistent with SABMiller's strategy of focusing on its core brewing and beverage businesses, and affords SABMiller the opportunity to simplify and consolidate the holding structure of its South African interests. Subject to legislative and contractual restrictions, the proposed transaction will also afford SABMiller the opportunity to investigate possible areas of synergy with its other South African operations.

The full text of the announcement is available on the JSE Securities Exchange News Service (SENS) and on the SABMiller website, www.sabmiller.com.

Ends

Notes to editors:

SABMiller plc

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with 2003/04 lager sales volumes in excess of 137 million hectolitres. It has a brewing presence in over 40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations. Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.

In the year ended 31 March 2004, the group generated US$1,391million pre-tax profit from a turnover of US$12,645 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Amalgamated Beverage Industries Limited

Amalgamated Beverage Industries Limited (ABI) is the leading soft drink business in the SABMiller plc group of companies. ABI remains one of the largest producers and trade marketers of The Coca-Cola Company brands in the southern Africa region. The company's core skills lie in the manufacture, trade marketing, sales and distribution of a variety of the world's leading soft drink brands, including carbonated soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, bottled water and fruit juices. The company was established in 1967 as a result of agreements between the Coca-Cola Export Corporation of the US, Cadbury Schweppes (SA) Ltd and South African Breweries Ltd. It became a public company in 1987 and listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange in 1989. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any securities in any jurisdiction.

The release, publication or distribution of this announcement in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law and therefore persons in any such jurisdictions into which this announcement is released, published or distributed should inform themselves about, and observe, such restrictions.

This announcement contains statements about Amalgamated Beverages Industries Limited (‘ABI'), SABMiller plc (‘SABMiller') and members of the SABMiller group (together with SABMiller, the "SABMiller Group") that are or may be forward looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement may be forward looking statements. Any statements preceded or followed by or that include the words "targets", "plans", "believes", "expects", "aims", "intends", "will", "may", "anticipates" or similar expressions or the negative thereof are forward looking statements. Forward looking statements include statements relating to the following: (i) future capital expenditures, expenses, revenues, economic performance, financial condition, dividend policy, losses and future prospects; (ii) business and management strategies and the expansion and growth of ABI's or the SABMiller Group's operations; and (iii) the effects of government regulation on ABI's or the SABMiller Group's business.

These forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of any such person, or industry results, to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. These forward looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of such persons and the environment in which each will operate in the future. All subsequent oral or written forward looking statements attributable to ABI or any member of the SABMiller Group or any persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statement above. ABI and the SABMiller Group expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in their expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

For further information:

Contacts:

Sue Clark  
Director of Corporate Affairs Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7659 0184
SABMiller plc Mob: + 44 (0) 7850 285471
   
Gary Leibowitz  
Vice President, Investor Relations Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0119
SABMiller plc Mob: +44 (0) 7717 428540
   
Nigel Fairbrass  
Head of Corporate Communications (Finance) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7659 0105
SABMiller plc Mob: +44 (0) 7799 8942

Back to news index